History , Nice: Guide Nice: France - Nozio 0%

Author: CHRIS230***

Nice History, France

The origins of Nice date back to Paleolithic period. The Grotte du Lazaret is one of the first established settlements, almost certainly occupied by a group of proto-Neanderthals.
A leap in time and we can find the Ligurians occupying two sites: one on the hill of Cimiez and the other on the current Riviera. We are around 1000 BC.
The true founders were the Focesi in search of a commercial site after founding Marseille (Massalia). Here they built and baptized the Nikaia settlement, Hellenizing the pre-existing Ligurian place-name (Nis).
The Roman conquest was next, bringing about the creation of Cemenelum, the capital of the Roman province of Alpi Marittime, on the hill of Cimiez, a city that would reach twenty thousand inhabitants. The remains of that city can be visited at the archaeological site of Cimiez.

Next, in the tenth century, under the counts of Provence, the settlement was more like a small village protected by a cathedral. Only with the house of Savoy did the city expand towards the sea, occupying what is the Old Town (Vieux-Nice) today.
The expansion lasted until the seventeenth century, when they decided to proceed with renovation of the existing: churches, piazzas and Baroque palaces. The French invasion brought destruction to the city, but the Utrecht treaty gave it back to the duke of Savoy. The renovation work continued with the first promenades, the port, the monuments and the Place Royale.
In the mid 1700s Nice discovered winter tourism. The families of the English aristocrats chose Nice for winter holidays in a mild climate, creating an ever growing community.

The city's architecture was not yet ready for another golden age, but the construction of the Promenade des Anglais (1820) paved the way for tourism in the city.
The Belle-Epoque changed everything: The Gare du Sud train station, the casino, the hotels on the Promenade des Anglais, the first being the Negresco in 1912, masterpiece of architect Edouard Niermans and the sculptor de Tarnowsky, with a good 420 rooms.
In this phase the architects combined styles: eastern (Château de l'Anglais, see photo, 1860), Neo-Gothic (Château de la Tour, 1880), Gothic (Basilique Notre-Dame, 1868), Art-Déco (Palais de la Méditerranée, 1929; Immeubles Le Palladium, 1932; Gloria Mansion, 1928; le Forum, 1932; le Palais Diderot, 1938).

The country of Italy brought king Vittorio Emanuele of Savoy to ask for help from the French, who obtained the city after referendum that was strongly contested by the hero of the two worlds, Garibaldi.
In 1948 Nice hosted the first international Jazz festival, introducing newcomer Louis Armstrong to the world.
Our days are those of the airport (the second in France), the Musée Chagall (1966), the Palais des Congrès et des Expositions Acropolis (the Acropolis Convention and Exhibition Center, 1985) and the Nice Treaty, which led to expansion of the European Union to ten new countries starting in 2003.


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